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Drinking “Orange” from a Distance

It’s probably a little late in the game to say this, but you should be attending the Orange conference this year.

As a parent, I’ve learned a ton from attending Orange.

As someone who ministers to kids, students and their families, the way I view ministry has been shaped from the voices at Orange (speakers and attenders alike).

Yet, I know a TON of people who can’t make it to Orange in Atlanta, GA next week.  I totally get it.  It’s the week after Easter and it’s a stretch for me to even get out there!  However, in this flat world we live in, you can follow along at home – and many people are planning on it.

So, here’s my question to those of you who will be following the bloggers that Orange is bringing in… what are you interested in hearing from us?  What’s helpful and what kind of stuff will you just gloss over?  And, all of you guys and gals on twitter following the #Orange11or ##thinkorange hashtags, what do you want to hear?

Sarcastic commentary?  Amazing quotes?  Session recaps/notes?  Which sessions to download?  Links to free stuff?

Basically, I want to know what I can do to be most helpful to you.  There will be some giant orange spotlights aimed at Atlanta this next week… where are you hoping we shine the light?

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Sidenote: The Orange Conference is live webcasting their opening session… for free!
(details here:  http://bit.ly/hnCy6r)

If you can’t be there LIVE, check it out – it’s going to rock!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Kidmin, Orange

 

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Read Your Boss’ Blog

There’s not a ton more to say than what’s in the title.

But, because I have a hard time saying less when I can say more, I’ll fill that idea out a little bit.

You need to know what your boss cares about.  This applies to those who work in the church and those who work outside of the church.  At the end of the day, you need to be able to write down on a piece of paper at least one thing that your boss values and one thing that drives them crazy.

Social media and the rise of blogging and micro-blogging in the last decade have made this easier than ever before.  If your boss blogs, tweets, or simply updates their status on Facebook, you should be paying attention to what they’re saying and what they’re trying to communicate.

If your boss doesn’t have an online presence, look out for newsletters, office memos or emails and watch for developing themes.

Personally, I have email alerts set for status updates, blog posts and tweets that come from our Senior Pastor as well as our church’s Youth Pastor, Junior High director and Elementary director.  Knowing what’s going on in the hearts and lives of those I work with is simply a text alert away – if you care about the people you work alongside, you should listen to what they’re saying.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2011 in Thoughts

 

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Top 10 Children’s Ministry Resources: #1 The Collaborating Community

There is not a book on any of our shelves that can replace the resource that we are to each other.

We live in a time in history when ideas can be exchanged in real-time across hundreds, if not thousands, of miles via text, voice, picture, or video.

There is a movement in our field to embrace the idea of collaboration and, if you’re reading this right now, you’re a part of it.  30 years ago, when guys like Jim Wideman were still cutting their teeth in children’s ministry, they could have never imagined the resources we’d have at our fingertips today.  You are a part of a movement that has been called to mobilize the Church.  We are called to tell others to take ministering to kids seriously.  We are called to be innovative and to strive for excellence.

Your best resources are the other leaders reading this post right now.

Let me share 5 ground rules for what collaboration looks like… and what it doesn’t look like.
(thanks to Sam, Gina, Matt, Jonathan and Kenny for helping me understand and truly believe what I’m about to write…)

  1. We’re all experts. God has called you to serve where your serving.  That’s a pretty big deal.  You are the only one who has expertise in being you, in your ministry context, at your age and stage of life.  Your voice carries weight.  Feel free to speak like you have ideas the rest of us need to hear.
  2. We’re not experts. Writing, commenting on, or moderating a blog doesn’t make someone an expert.  And, remember the whole, “We’re all experts” thing I just mentioned?  We all also fail.  Often.  Don’t take yourself so seriously that you can never be wrong.  You can and will be wrong… and the world will keep turning.  And we’ll keep listening to your ideas.
  3. Size doesn’t matter. Small churches and large churches are all part of Jesus’ church… we all have things to learn from each other.  Numbers should never be the main topic of any discussion.  There are appropriate times and places for number discussions.  Don’t assume that you know when and where those are – those rules are often fluid.
  4. Share your ideas, not just your victories. It’s easy to talk about the Gospel presentation where 39 kids accepted Jesus into their lives.  It’s a little tougher to talk about the time when not one child made a profession of faith.  But, here’s the thing – what we sometimes consider failures, God wants to redeem as victories.  It’s always best, when collaborating, to share ideas before you actually try them.  Someone may have insight that makes your idea better.  Write your ideas on Napkins.  Don’t taken them too seriously.  Share them.  You may have been given an idea for someone else to use.
  5. Stop Lurking. There’s a rich man in your congregation who is taking $137 out of the offering plate every time it gets passed in your church.  He comes to every service and does the same thing.  Then, he goes down the street to the church that starts 15 minutes after yours and does the same thing.  He’s become so rich from this scheme that he makes more in interest in one day than you and I make in income in a year – combined.
    Now, obviously, that man doesn’t exist.  Except he does.  And it’s you.
    There’s a good chance that, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve been here before.  And you’ll come here again.  And you check out the other kidmin blogs in the area.  And you probably rarely (if ever!) share your ideas.  You need to give back to the offering plate.  You don’t have to start your own blog or own your own space to do it.  Simply find a community and start sharing ideas.  Start giving back.  Unless you want to be a lurking jerk.

The community of children’s ministry leaders that we have access to is our best resource.
We’re waiting for you to join in.

Want to get involved?

Get involved by commenting on this blog, one of the blogs listed to the right of this page, by creating a Twitter account, or by joining the CMConnect Community.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2009 in Kidmin, Resources

 

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Sabbath, in 140 Characters or less

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This weekend, our Pastor of Family Life and Evangelism, Adam Donner, will be preaching on the Sabbath.
I have the awesome task of taking his message and parallel teaching the same lesson to a group of 1st-5th graders during our 11:11am service.

As part of my homework, I decided to ask the Twitterverse if they could describe “Sabbath” in 140 characters or less:

Here were a few of your responses (I’ll choose only from the answers that can be found on the public timeline):

So, friends, would you add anything?
What do you think “taking a Sabbath rest” should look like for a 3rd grader?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2009 in Kidmin

 

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Twitter kills #kidmin Leaders

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From the looks of it, Twitter decided today to suspend multiple #kidmin leaders’ accounts.

@samluce and @jonathancliff seem to be two of the more notable names caught up in the mess.

@prince4jc (myself) and @kidinspiration have both also reported suspensions.

Anyone have any leads on what in the world is going on in the world of Twitter today to cause this?

Share your thoughts in the comments section

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2009 in Kidmin

 

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